Friday, December 31, 2010

Last Post of 2010!

The bread was wonderful! See the picture---not much left of that first loaf. The second full loaf is cinnamon raisin, and it is really good as well. This machine is a "hi rise" machine, and at least with these two loafs, it has lived up to the name. I went to the grocery store and purchased some wheat flour and that will be my next loaf---tomorrow---since that is really the only type of bread we normally eat. I also got black-eyed peas (for good luck in the coming year) and mixed greens (for money in the coming year), so I will cook the customary dinner. It is said that what you are doing when the new year comes in will be what you will be doing all year, and the condition of your house will be an indicator of it's condition all year. Given that, if the legend hold true, I will be sleeping all year or playing with my DSi, and I will always have laundry waiting to be done.
Well this is the last post of the year of 2010! I am pretty proud of myself----almost a year! I have enjoyed this process really---so many new friends and I haven't met a one (other than Diane of course)! I wish all my new friends a blessed, safe and happy new year!!!!!! There have been some challenges, and some trying times---but I look forward to 2011 with anticipation.
See you next year!!!!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Late Christmas Gift (AKA My DH really was listening)!

I love baking bread, but unlike Judy I really don't necessarily like to do it all "by hand". I make delicious rolls by hand, but when it comes to loaf bread----I just don't like all the kneading, etc. Anyway, I asked for a bread maker years ago when they first came out and my DH bought me one for Christmas---that was probably 17 years ago (or more). The poor thing finally pooped. It stopped getting hot enough and the bread really didn't rise. I was reading Subee's blog where she discussed her new bread maker and the awesome loaves of bread it made. I mentioned it to DH and really didn't think he was paying attention. I really should have known better because it was a "throw away" conversation that got me my long arm; my GO! and my Pandora bracelets---so I should realize he really is paying attention. Anyway, we went out to lunch today and when we got back this very large box was sitting on the side of the house. When we brought it in, what should be in there but the bread maker!!!! The exact one I wanted!!!! I couldn't wait to use it of course, so a plain loaf of white bread is being made as we speak. I used the recipe that came with the machine and it seemed like an awful lot of milk (1.5 cups plus 2 T) but I followed the direction closely. I then read the directions that said the milk should be heated slightly, which I didn't do, but hopefully everything will come out okay. Isn't my Honey Bunny a nice guy (when he wants to be)! Fresh bread is ahead for sure---and I wanted to lose weight!

On a quilty subject, I was looking over the list of quilts I have finished this year and I have been pretty productive. 17 quilts, not counting the one that I only put a binding on---and these are really finished----quilted and bound (although Asian Indigo is still being quilted). Since I have joined Judy's UFO Challenge, I should complete at least 12 next year! Pretty good huh!

Now for some New Year's Resolutions!

My quilty one is to straighten up my sewing room (studio) by:

  • Going through my scrap bin and getting rid of all those tiny pieces of fabric, and cutting the larger pieces into triangles/squares/strips---and then putting those in separate easily accessed bins.
  • Cutting up my various FQ's that I either received as gifts, or purchased for no apparent reason, into the same usable pieces as mentioned above.
  • Review all my magazines and tear out the patterns that I will eventually make (maybe) and throw the rest out.
  • Go through the large garbage bag of batting pieces and piece the bigger ones together to use in utility quilts and get rid of the pieces that are unusable (maybe I will check with the Vet and see if they could use some little pet pillows. I could get rid of some yuk fabric as well as the leftover batting scraps).

Well, everything sounds doable. Hopefully this will be accomplished, along with my UFO's.

Hugs and I'll keep you posted on the progress of the bread!


Monday, December 27, 2010

Another Great Christmas!!!!

This was another great Christmas!!!! Christmas gifts are all about the Grand babies---and did they ever have a great time. By the time I got home Christmas evening, they could hardly contain themselves! It was an effort for them to wait for me to get my coat off and then it was gift opening for all!!!! It did snow and although the weather"person" was correct from that perspective, they were in error (thank goodness) in that we didn't get the amount they predicted! It snowed all day, but hardly any really accumulated.

I was able to finish quilting "Bountiful" and completed the quilt top for "Asian Indigo". I am going to finish the binding on Bountiful before I start quilting it though. I am working really hard to relax this holiday---I so often end up more fatigued than I was when I began it. Hope your Holiday was a great one as well!!!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!!!

I have to work tomorrow, but am splitting the shift with another nurse so only have to work the first 6 hours! I spent all day cooking so when I get home tomorrow (around 2 PM), we will open the remainder of the gifts (the kids will of course have opened some of theirs) and I will only have to put the dressing in the oven and put the green bean casserole together....everything else is done, including the rolls (I will just have to warm them up). ...I will put the turkey in the roaster right before leaving for work in the morning.

We are suppose to have a white Christmas!!! The kids are really excited---not me, especially since I have to drive in it. My poor son has to work tomorrow night from 11p to 7A, so he isn't very happy either. .....but maybe it will not happen, it certainly wouldn't be the first time a prediction of weather didn't materialize.

Well, gotta go check on the rolls and get a little rest before it all starts again tomorrow. Here is hoping you all have the best Christmas ever!!!!! God's Blessings to you and your loved ones!!!


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Latest Update(s)!

This year I decided to have two Christmas trees. Joanne's had a 90% on trees last summer and I got the one above for $7. It is unlit and I thought would be perfect for a "Grand babies Tree". I was correct! We made decorations, I got some balls from the $1 store and we put candy canes on. I also got a bag of ice sickles (some call them tinsel) and the kids were responsible for doing it all themselves. That one bag of sickles had enough to cover every tree in TN I think, but the kids enjoyed it. There tree topper is a Santa!

I treated myself to a new GO! die! This is the diamond die. I really think this will be a great die to use to make a dent in my scrap bin. It was only $19 and so I figured it was worth buying. I now have almost all the current dies that I would use. Now to get to using them---one of my NY's resolutions.

Harriet is feeling much better! Butch came to fix her and I really did hit the Jackpot. He is a quilter himself and knows the little special things of a good stitch. He also shared with me his little tricks for getting good tension., and didn't mind my husband looking over his shoulder as he timed the machine. I have to honestly say I don't think I got a stitch this good when the machine was brand new. Unfortunately I have added something else to my "wish list"----edge rider wheels. My wheels are a little wobbly---and I would love some new ones. The edge rider's are $90 though so I will have to save a bit. Butch showed my husband how to install them so maybe for "Valentine's Day"???????
The above picture is my attempt to show you the stitch quality--since my machine is hand guided, there is no other way for me to get a good stitch except me and therefore tension is very important. This is "Bountiful" I am quilting. Still looks weird to me, but I had the perfect backing---a flannel with hot peppers. I got about 8 or 9 yards of this five years ago when the Joanne's that was close to me was closing. Just goes to show that if you are careful about what you purchase, staying true to your basic likes....who would have thought I would make a weird quilt that was perfect for the weird backing. Guess I am just weird :c) or maybe "quirky" is a better word.
Well, I am going to go back down now and work on the quilt and then put the borders on another and add it to my completed list....then start to prepare for Saturday. I have to work the first 6 hours of my 12 so I will need to essentially do most of my cooking on Friday.
Have a great day and "talk" to you later!!!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

My UFO 2011 List

Okay---here is my "formal" 2011 list that I will be working from as part of the Judy Challenge (I don't have pictures, but will post them as I finish):
  1. The scrappy house quilt
  2. Batik strings (just needs a binding)
  3. The star quilt (just needs a binding)
  4. "Sewing Green" Drunkard's Path" (from old shirts)
  5. "Traditional" string quilt
  6. "Non-traditional" string quilt (tube first)
  7. Paint box quilt
  8. Red and White Log Cabin
  9. Scrap Depression Block Quilt
  10. Apple Core Quilt

I honestly can't think of 12 UFO's, so I am adding 3 quilts that I have been wanting to make and haven't yet:

  1. (10) Half Log Cabin
  2. (11) Scrap Flannel
  3. (12) Zig Zag Quilt

I have one quilt that is a 10 year UFO---but I honestly am not sure I even want to finish it. I don't have the directions anymore----so I am going to think about that one. I guess I am setting myself up for a success by not adding it, since I don't even like it anymore. Hope that isn't cheating---I might add it later.

Well here is my list----let's hope I am not only successful in completing the list, but that I can link. Click on the badge on the right and see what you need to do to join! Please do---it will be fun!


Thursday, December 16, 2010

What Am I Working On??

This is actually on my UFO list, but since I have completed two quilts, I thought I would work on this rather than start another new quilt.

If I make this quilt again, I will make sure the center blocks are over-size when I dye them. What I did was cut them the correct size, dye them and then when I washed the dye out many of them frayed. This then made some of the blocks slightly smaller. I think what I will do is to add strips of the bordering fabrics to make up the size. Some of the blocks will be "odd" but I think that will add to the quilts quirky personality. I am really working on my spontaneity. In the old days if the quilter ran out of one fabric, she would just substitute another one, maybe one that looked like the original, or even of a totally different color. When you see quilts like that, the makers creative adventure is highlighted, proofed by the "quirky" block. This quilt will have quite a few "quirky" blocks :c). Even with that, I am liking this quilt. I have two rows together and have 6 more to go. Of course I am making it bigger---remember, I don't do "small" much.

I am using a denim for the sashing and border. Not the jean type, but a lighter, more apparel weight denim that I just happened upon at Joanne's. It is working pretty good. I now just have to go up into my stash and see if I can find an appropriate backing. A blue and white batik would work great, but I don't have any so I will have to improvise.

Have a great day. BTW--Butch didn't call me back yesterday. I will give him until about 12 and then I will call him. I must have Harriett up and running!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Harriet is Sick!!!!

Harriet is the name of my long arm.. I have had problems with this machine since day one----I have never been able to really just thread it and start quilting. Something was always wrong---bad tension the most common problem, broken needles caused by some broken part. The dealer I purchased it from turned out to not be a very nice person and initially I called Gammill to complain and told them to take the machine back. Anyway, to make a long story short, I saved a long time for this machine and decided to go ahead and be a grown-up and deal with the issues. I have a small fortune tied up in tension gauges and finally found a thread she likes---the cheapest serger thread, and have been getting along fairly well. Then suddenly I started getting skipped stitches. I posted on the Yahoo group and got some good advice----I decided to "time" this honey-bunny. I thought I did a good job---but the problem continued. I purchased a video---$54 that was recommended and although I wish he would speak a little faster gives some good instructions with pictures (which helps me). Anyway, I called my son who just graduated from school and is a mechanic (don't know why I thought this would make him more likely to be able to fix my machine) and got him to help me unscrew screws. We worked on poor Harriet for over 2 hours and all we accomplished was getting the screwdriver slammed into my finger---the problem became worst. My son and daughter said they would pay for the repairman to come so "PLEASE Mommie, call the expert!!!" My husband just sorta looked over my shoulder directing (he had looked at the video too but said he wasn't touching that "machine and getting blamed for anything"). I followed their advice and called the repairman, Butch, and he is going to call me back tonight after he talks with his wife to see what she has planned for him next week but he thinks he will be able to come on Monday or Tuesday. I really hope so-----how I wish there was a local repairman---Butch is having to come from Alabama! I am not going to talk very much, since he is charging by the hour, and hope whatever it is, he can fix it really fast. He did make me feel better by saying it was a "art" to time the machine---wish someone had mentioned that in the video.

Monday, December 13, 2010

UFO Challenge

I have decided to join Judy's UFO Challenge. Like everyone else I have UFO's but unfortunately, I keep adding to the list rather than making it smaller. I really want to get to the point through where when I start a quilt I work only on that one to finish it. The goal of the challenge is to finish a UFO a month. Hopefully I will not find myself finishing my UFO's but adding multiple quilts to the 2012 list. My UFO list for 2011 is:
  1. Apple Core Quilt
  2. Paintbox Quilt
  3. Depression Block Quilt
  4. House block scrap quilt (just started)
  5. Hand-dyed center block quilt (oriental fabric framing)
  6. Batik Quilt (only needs the binding)
  7. Snowball quilt (only needs the binding)
  8. String Quilt (made as a tube and then cut into a block).
  9. Drunkard's Path

This is all I can think of right now. There is one other one but it is so old---about 7 years old and at this time, I am not even sure if I want to really finish it, plus I lost the directions so......... As you can see I haven't named the quilts yet so the names are descriptive only, hence string quilt that is made as a tube.

Let's see how I do. It sounds like fun though, but that quilt I started 7 years ago sounded like fun too.


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Why did I make a quilt using fruits and veggies?

I am almost finished with my "Bountiful" quilt, and although I did a pretty good job---why would I make a quilt out of fruit and veggie fabrics? At the time it seemed novel, and maybe a fun quilt, but as I look at it it just seems strange. That tells you the type of mood I have been in lately. Anyway, I am going to finish it (of course) and who knows, my grand babies might think it would be fantastic to nap under. If not, this might be one I give to someone---not to a charity---but something like this needs a specific person in mind.

My week-end was a nice quiet one. I belong to two guilds, and one had their Christmas Party yesterday. There was lots good food, laughter and just enjoying being together. It rained and by the time the party ended, about 2PM, the temperature was falling. It has continued to fall and now it is snowing. School has been canceled and given that, my other Guild's Party is as well. Don't know when it will be rescheduled but at this one I was going to find out who my "Secret Sister" was. Well, that will have to wait.

No real news---so I will go back into my sewing room and tidy a bit---I have been in the scrap bins and fabric is EVERYWHERE!!!!!!


Wednesday, December 8, 2010


If you are one of my 27 Followers, you know I don't talk a lot about my life other than the quilting part. Unlike Lane when I do try to write about myself, it isn't interesting nor is it nearly as insightful as he does, so I just focus on quilting. Today however (since this is a bit like a journal), I thought I would admit that today is my birthday! For a long time I had a problem thinking about getting older. There was so much I wanted to do and it seemed that if I admitted I was getting older, I wouldn't be able to accomplish everything. Suddenly I realize that the opposite of getting older is to die young. which makes getting old not so bad after all.

I am now considered a "senior"---I can get a discount at Joanne's; at TJ Maxx on Wednesday's and at Kroger's as well. I have outlived my mother and one sister and unlike some people who are even younger, I am in pretty good health. I can still dance!, can sing the latest songs, even those that I don't really understand; can run a race with my grandchildren and still work a 12 hour shift at the hospital (although I do whine a lot about it). Some say I really don't look my age and most days I don't feel it either.

All in all, I think I have been blessed! I wish I had more money (who doesn't); wish I really could retire (instead I am preparing to return to school); and wish I could buy a pair of Jimmy Choo shoes.

All my children are well and WORKING; my grandchildren are all doing well in school; my husband still says he loves me and my friends are there for me. I have a pretty good life! Here's wishing me many more years!!!

Monday, December 6, 2010

What Have I Been Up To Lately?

I have been alternately between working in a frenzy (starting a new quilt) to being so lethargic, all I can do is move from bed to sofa---there is a name for that, but I call it tired! To try to get my juices flowing again, I found a new quilt shoppe and went in to browse. I had seen the "Farmer's Market" line of fabs that are fruits and veggies and had thought about making a "New York Beauty" out of them---something different you know. Anyway, I purchased 15 FQ's and decided I needed something that was fast and "non-traditional" to take my mind off of things I should be completing. The fastest quilt I could think of was the "Turning Twenty" so that is what I made. The size I chose called for 16 FQ's which I didn't have, so I mixed in a green polka-dot. I think it looks pretty good----I am going to border it in the same green polka-dot and back it in a flannel that I have (red hot peppers). I think it will be a fun quilt to have in the upstairs den to snuggle in while watching television.
The other picture is of the quilt I am completing the quilting on. I am having "issues" with skipped stitches. I have re-timed the machine, changed needles, loosen the tension, etc. and although it is better, I am still getting skipped stitches. I am just going to plow on, going back to fill in and when I get an opportunity, have the dealer to come by and service the machine. Anyway, I am using a panto and although I would have like the thread to be not quite as dark, I think it is looking okay. My panto following is getting much better!!!! The is the quilt that was the Guild's "Mystery Day". It is my hand dyes (except for the grey) and is a scrappy purple and green.
School is coming to a close---I give my final tomorrow and then I will be out until Jan. 5. I intend to get some much needed rest. I am really tired, in body and spirit, so I am going to work really hard to rejuvenate myself!
Well, gotta go and do a bit of cleaning and washing before I get back to quilting. Take care and "see you soon".